AMSTERDAM - With the weekends getting busier for Americans playing in Europe, Anderlecht new boy Sacha Kljestan clocked in Saturday night with his first Jupiler League goal to spark a 3-0 win at Lokeren.
The victory, which tentatively pushed the Mauves into first place, saw ice broken on 32 minutes by a classy Kljestan header. The former Chivas USA ace went the distance, as is becoming customary.
Over in England's Premier League, Bolton midfielder Stuart Holden made an important early defensive play in his own box during a strong 90 minutes to help the hosts top West Ham United, 3-1. Jonathan Spector did not dress for the visitors.
In a direct U.S. keepers duel, Marcus Hahnemann's Wolverhampton rallied late for a 1-1 share with Tim Howard's visiting Everton. The former pulled off the save of the day, denying a first-half Johnny Heitinga laser from 25 yards.
The Bundesliga opened for the season in Germany, with Hannover 96 captain Steve Cherundolo working a full shift in a 2-1 victory over Eintracht Frankfurt. Ricardo Clark was an unused sub for the beaten guests.
Schalke midfielder Jermaine Jones went the distance in his first competitive match in 15 months, a 2-1 loss at Hamburg.
Michael Bradley had a good save reject his distance chance at a late winner as Borussia Mönchengladbach opened with a 1-1 draw against FC Nürnberg.
Finally, in France's Ligue 1, Carlos Bocanegra manned left back as Saint-Étienne battled out a scoreless draw at former employers Rennes.